USU Extension Assistant Professor
Warning: I absolutely LOVE Dr. Seuss! I love how his books helped my kids learn to read. I love his made up names and animals that make me smile. I love the playful artwork and the vibrant colors. But do you want to know what I love most? I love the versatility of his stories that can be read simply for fun or to teach life lessons. I’ll bet you didn’t realize that some of Dr. Seuss’s stories can even help you on your path to financial wellness, did you?
If any of your new year’s resolutions have to do with managing your money better or dealing with debt, stick with me as we explore the wisdom Dr. Seuss imparted in a few of his well known stories.
I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew: Talk about bang for your buck! This book has multiple messages. The main character grows tired of the challenges in his life and wants to find a less troublesome place to live. He sets off on a journey “to the City of Solla Sollew, on the banks of the beautiful River Wah-Hoo, where they never have troubles! At least, very few.” He runs into the Midwinter Jicker and the Perilous Poozer of Pompelmoose Pass and comes to the realization that the best way to deal with an obstacle is by tackling it head on. He also realizes that challenges are everywhere even in the places where “they never have troubles. At least very few.”
So, you know that budgeting issue or debt dilemma you’ve been avoiding? Dive right in and tackle it one step at a time. If you’ve been running away from setting up a budget, or you’re struggling to stay out of debt, start out by just tracking your expenses for a few weeks to see where your money is going. What you learn about your spending may reinforce the need for a budget and it may help you discover some unnecessary expenses that could be eliminated so you‘ll have a little more money to pay down your debt. If you’re not sure where to start, visit powerpay.org and check out the self paced Power Pay Money Mastery course offered by Utah State University Extension. The course acts as a road map to help you reach your goals so you won’t “have trouble getting to Solla Sollew.”
The Lorax - Initially, you might think this is a story about protecting the environment and saving the trees. Guess what? You’re absolutely right! But it doesn’t stop there. Unbeknownst to the author himself, if you take a deeper look, you may discover that the messages in The Lorax translate well into financial strategies. I could probably write a whole post on just this book and its connection to financial best practices, but instead I’ll introduce you to a few of the main ideas, the way I see it.
I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of the wonderful lessons from Dr. Seuss. However, I’m worried you might recall that Dr. Seuss has a book titled “I Can Read with My Eyes Shut” and you may decide to give it a try (aka you fall asleep reading my post). I also just remembered that Dr. Seuss Day is in March so I think I will save a few more fun Dr. Seuss lessons to share with you then. In the meantime, I challenge you to read a Dr. Seuss book and find a way to apply it to your financial goals. That way, every time you read it to your kids (or by yourself) you’ll feel a little nudge reminding you of your plan. If you are feeling really brave, leave a comment and let us know which Dr. Seuss book will be nudging you.
Parting thought: You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
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